Archive for the ‘development’ Category

Danger, Bill Richardson!

January 27, 2009

Danger, Bill Richardson!

Stardate 27 January 2009.An anomaly has appeared on the dashboard of Starship NotionsCapital. Hundreds of unknown entities are accessing an older blog post about New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, not the new, updated one, violating conventional laws of the Blogosphere. Holy Einstein! Have we drifted near some Black Hole or Space Warp?

 No!  Space Commander Bill Richardson just gave his “State of Outer Space Address,” boasting :

We even went boldly where no state has gone before—launching Spaceport America, signing Virgin Galactic as an anchor tenant, and starting a new commercial space industry in Southern New Mexico ….

Danger Will Robinson Danger, Bill Richardson! Do not enter into compacts with space aliens! The say they come to serve your citizens, but they will serve them on a bun, with slaw!


Lessons Learned. Sure.

December 4, 2008

Lessons Learned. Sure.

The Department of Defense, NASA, Department of Energy, and many corporations have “Lessons Learned” programs, systems, policies, and procedures.

“Lessons Learned” means “We spent time and resources and all we have to show for it is this report, a catalog of catastrophes entitled ‘Lessons Learned.'”


A Hint of Spice to Come — Ben’s Next Door

December 3, 2008

A Hint of Spice to Come -- Ben's Next Door

Those lucky chilidawgs at Capital Spice got a preview of the new restaurant the Ali family is opening next to their venerable Ben’s Chili Bowl. Nizam Ali had hoped to open earlier this year, and we can guess at the cause of the delay. In this town, builders yell “DCRA!” when they hit their thumbs with a hammer.

NotionsCapital hopes the search for the perfect jellroll was not a contributing factor. The Alis want to carry that confection to commemorate the fact that Ferdinand “Jellyroll” Morton played jazz upstairs in the building that houses their plush new place. 

Ben’s Next Door is slated to open this month. That leaves plenty of time for a shakedown cruise before the all-night Inaugural Marathons.


Image by Mike Licht.


Arts and the City

September 9, 2008

Highrise Carroll Square (10th and F Streets, NW) is just another Washington office building, except for one thing. It has a small visual arts gallery, but so do other downtown buildings in the Nation’s Capital. What makes Carroll Square different is artists, working artists. There are artist studios in the building; art is made there.

Back when the 9:30 Club was actually at 930 F Street, NW, artists and performers had studios throughout downdown. When speculators ran up the price of downtown real estate and developers planned to rip down the century-old buildings, artist work spaces were displaced. The stubbornest member of the nonprofit Downtown Artists’ Coalition, painter Michael Berman, continued to negotiate with DC Government planners and private developers to maintain studio space for visual artists. It took a decade, but working artists are back on F Street.

Arts and the City
Find the artist in this picture.

Visual artists are returning as F St|Arts, and their studios occupy the rehabbed townhouses that step-back into the high-rise portion of the new development. Paintings, photographs, sculpture, and jewelry and wood craft media are produced there by Michael Berman, Richard Dana, Matthew Falls, Stuart Gosswein, Judy Jashinsky, Gediyon KifleKurt Massé, Mimi Massé, and Beatrice Valdes Paz.

You can see the new studios and the work artists produce there on Saturday, September 13, 2008 during Arts On Foot, the downtown celebration of Washington’s visual and performing arts.  F St|Arts studios will also exhibit work by guest artists Janis Goodman, Joe Hicks, Pepa Leon, Barbara Liotta, Quint Marshall, and Johanna Muelle.


Busting Day-Labor Johns

August 15, 2008

Busting Day-Labor Johns

The folks in Northern Virginia just don’t know what to do. They want to blame all their problems on (gasp!) illegal aliens. Loitering in the 7-11 parking lot. Trash in the street. Parking on the lawn. Extended families living together, in the same house. People who speak more than one language. High taxes. Low wages. The high price of gas. Crab grass. The high price of crabs. Gotta be those (gasp!) illegal aliens.


Welcome to the Gun Zone

August 10, 2008

Welcome to the Gun Zone

Zoning rules adopted on July 28th restrict Washington, DC firearms dealers to high-density downtown commercial areas and keep gun stores at least 200 yards from residences, churches, schools, libraries, and parks, writes Michael Neibauer in today’s Washington Examiner. The emergency regulations, adopted by the D.C. Zoning Commission at the request of the D.C. Office of Planning, will be in effect for 120 days, and will be revisited at a public hearing of the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) on September 29th.

The C-3-C, C-4, and C-5 Zone Districts consist of the downtown core area, dowtown Pennsylvania Avenue and downtown Massachusetts Avenues in the Northwest quadrant, and several blocks of Southwest (excluding the waterfront). The zoning map is here. Firearms dealers will be restricted to sale of firearms and accessories, so don’t look for revolvers at a downtown CVS.


Lawn Rangers

July 31, 2008

Lawn Rangers

A prominent Washington, DC activist recently wrote about intolerant environmental activists who want to share or even do away with suburban lawns. Certainly Enviros, like other single-issue activists, can certainly be tiresome. While NotionsCapital understands our DC neighbor’s point, his essay is . . . well, pretty tiresome. We may be banned from Montgomery and Fairfax Counties for saying this, but God did not plant grass on American front lawns, nor is front-lawn grass prescribed by any holy writ (real estate covenants don’t count).


Tonight — 007 Joins ATF in NOMA

July 24, 2008

Tonight --- 007 Joins ATF in NOMA

Join Roger Moore (as James Bond) with Topol, Carole Bouquet, Lynn-Holly Johnson, and lots of babes and bad guys in For Your Eyes Only (1981) tonight at dusk (ca. 8PM), right across the street from the new ATF HQ in NOMA. 

If you don’t have the encryption device 007 is looking for in the film, ATF is the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (99 New York Ave. NE), and NOMA is the DC neighborhood North Of Massachusetts Avenue, and the NOMA BID (Business Improvement District) now claims this is Capitol Hill North. What this claim means: Calling NOMA “Capitol Hill North” means the District of Columbia has no official neighborhood boundaries and the NOMA BID is funded by real estate salesmen.

And now, back to tonight’s movie: take the Red Line Metro to the New York Avenue station, cross New York Avenue, and there you are. Bring a blanket or a low lawnchair.

If you have another clandestine assignment tonight, there are Bond films each Thursday through August 28th, same time and place.


 Image mashed up by Mike Licht, who likes this poster better.

Banner Banality

July 2, 2008

Banner Banality

An off-topic note on Northeast Washington’s esteemed Frozen Tropics neighborhood blog set me off on a rant about those ubiquitous lamppost banners. Hate ’em.


Sports Shell Game — Second Half

May 29, 2008

Sports Shell Game -- Second Half

DC United is playing even worse off the pitch than on it. This season’s 3 and 7, 20 goals against looks great compared with United’s clumsy wrong-footed swipes at the taxpayers’ money. The team is not just offside in stadium negotiations; it is in the parking lot.